Jane Goodall spent years observing chimpazees in the wild. She discovered that the animals can commit murder and wage war. As an environmentalist, the British activist now spends more time observing humans — and says she still has hope for humanity.
Over one third of humanity is undernourished. Now a group of scientists are experimenting with specially-bred crops, and hoping to launch a new Green Revolution — but controversy is brewing. By Philip Bethge It may not make his family wealthy, but Devran Mankar is still grateful for the pearl millet variety called Dhanshakti (meaning “prosperity and strength”) he […]
Europe’s last remaining wild rivers flow through the Balkans, providing stunning scenery and habitat to myriad plants and animals. But hundreds of dam projects threaten to do irreparable harm to the region’s unique biospheres — to provide much needed electricity to the people who live there. By Philip Bethge How did Europe’s rivers look before […]
Fish stocks have made surprising comebacks in the North and Baltic seas. But much remains to be done. Beginning in January, new EU laws will impose more sustainable practices with stricter quotas and by-catch rules. By Philip Bethge When the men open the net on the ship’s deck, fat codfish slap into plastic fish baskets. […]
Vultures are slowly returning to Germany, driven out long ago by an unwelcoming populace. At the behest of conservationists, loosened “carcass regulations” in Europe have made the search for food less daunting — but some still wonder if the birds will be able to survive. By Philip Bethge Griffon vulture number 259 is no longer able […]
For decades, it’s been common knowledge that dolphins are among the world’s smartest species. Now some researchers — and a new book — argue the supposed underwater geniuses aren’t so special after all. By Philip Bethge Their social lives are complex, and they can congregate in large groups. Their heart rates increase when they notice […]
The world has been without passenger pigeons since 1914. Now, scientists want to bring them back. Geneticist Ben Novak has embarked on the project and has begun collecting passenger pigeon DNA from natural history museums. His “de-extinction” efforts are not without critics. By Philip Bethge The eye sockets of the slender pigeon are filled with […]
Ethical worries have slowed medical research into applications for stem cells. But scientists like Robert Lanza have developed less controversial ways to derive stem cells from normal body cells rather than embryos and are already launching the first clinical trials. By Philip Bethge Stem cell researcher Robert Lanza hopes to save thousands of lives — […]